Home » Planning to Relocate to Costa Rica from US – Few Things That You Need to Know

Planning to Relocate to Costa Rica from US – Few Things That You Need to Know

Are you planning to relocate to Costa Rica from the US? Remember you are not alone! Many people consider Costa Rica as tropical heaven to live in.

There are numerous reasons to relocate to Costa Rica. Costa Rica provides an exceptional lifestyle at an affordable price. This tropical heaven is one of the most popular destinations among foreigners for education and living after retirement.

This modern country offers thriving rain forests, fun beach towns, deserted tropical beaches, attractive rural villages, lively cities, breezy mountain getaways, and perfect lake regions, which makes it one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

If you are thinking about relocating to Costa Rica, here are few things that you need to know. Check out our guide below for complete information about relocating to Costa Rica.

Overview of Costa Rica

It has a population of more than five million people, including nearly 500,000 foreigners. Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces, with the majority of the people living in the Central Valley, which surrounds San Jose, the capital.

The country has a quite high literacy rate of 97.8%. Costa Rica has a great education system, no army, and stable democracy, all of which contribute to its calm and compose environment to live in.

Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity is something we never tire of seeing. Every province has its distinctive environment and way of life.

Tourists, retirees, and families all believe that this country is a slice of heaven, and you could not agree more!


If you have ever read about Costa Rica, you would have come across the idiom “Pura Vida.” It’s hard to put into expression exactly what this idiom means until you have experienced it for yourself. Anthony Constantinou (CEO CWM FX) says, “We did our best to summarize “Pura Vida”, but the most significant thing to remember is that the local culture of the country is exceptionally relaxed”. Things move gradually and progressively, which makes Costa Rica so unique place to live in.  

Living expenses

The overall cost of living in Costa Rica is significantly cheaper than that of the United States. Consumer prices, rent rates, restaurant pricing, and grocery prices are all considerably lower than in the United States. According to a prominent magazine that details the greatest countries in the world to live, retire, trip, and invest “The expats from the United States, Canada, and Europe spend less money daily in Costa Rica than in their home”.

Surely, the cost of living varies depending on one’s lifestyle choices. Newcomers will find the country highly affordable.

House Prices

The housing market of Costa Rica is strong and reasonable. Generally, house prices vary based on the city and town. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center will cost you around $475. A one-bedroom apartment outside of a city will cost $384 a month on average. An apartment for sale in a Costa Rican city will cost an average of $174 per square foot, whereas an apartment for sale outside of a city will cost $141 per square foot.

The most expensive homes in the country are located on the pacific coast and in the Central Valley. The Central Valley is the wider urban area that includes San Jose, Escazu, Heredia, and Alajuela, where you can see most of the business sites.

Wellbeing and Security

Things are surprisingly secure in Costa Rica if travelers use common sense and alertness. Outside of San José (Costa Rica’s capital), the crime is rare and usually minor. Costa Rica is widely considered the most peaceful country in Central America.

It does not have an army and instead devotes most of the federal funds to the healthcare and education system. Despite its status as a developing country, Costa Rica is an encouraging example of a progressive and politically stable country in the world.

Favorable Weather

Every year, travelers and newcomers visit Costa Rica to experience its warm, tropical weather and stunning beaches. The dry season and the rainy season are the most common seasons in Costa Rica. The rainiest months are usually May through November, in which September and October see the most rain. December to April is the driest month of the year. The average yearly temperature of the country ranges from 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a very warm location to survive.

Life Expectancy

Costa Rica is a great place for retirees, students, and families looking to live a high-quality life at an affordable price. It is, in fact, one of the world’s happiest countries, according to the World Economic Forum. The research attributes its extraordinary lifestyle, stunning beaches, picturesque rainforests, stable democracy, and educated population. It is also the happiest country on the earth, according to the Happy Planet Index, thanks to the government’s strong focus on environmental preservation. The research claims that Costa Rica is not only a world leader in environmental protection, but it also has a strong social network culture. All of these characteristics contribute to good quality of life in Costa Rica.

Healthcare Policy

The healthcare policies and facilities of Costa Rica are excellent for newcomers. It boasts some of the greatest healthcare systems in Latin America. Expats have easy access to both the public and private medical care systems in the country. Besides having good healthcare alternatives, the costs of all facilities are quite reasonable when compared to the United States. Medical care prices are nearly about a third to a fifth of what you would pay in the United States, depending on the treatment.

The Immigration Requirements

Travelers from the United States and Canada do not require a visa to visit Costa Rica. However, documentation of a 90-day plan is required to exit Costa Rica (i.e. a return plane ticket). The Pensionado Program and the Rentista Program are two visa possibilities for those seeking to live in Costa Rica for an extended period. Newcomers arriving at the country under the popular Pensionado Program need confirmation of receiving at least $1,000 per month from a pension source. Under the Rentista Program, the newcomer requires either a $60,000 deposit into a Costa Rican bank or confirmation of a monthly income of at least $2,500 for at least two years.

You can consider these six cities when planning to relocate to Costa Rica:


If you are looking for a place to live in Costa Rica’s capital San Jose, then Escazu is worth a look. Newcomers will find plenty of trendy bars, restaurants, modern facilities, and safe neighborhoods in Escazu. It is located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. This suburb is also recognized for its mild, spring-like weather all year around.


Tamarindo is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. It is known as one of the world’s most beautiful beach towns. For beachgoers, surfers, and wildlife aficionados, the city is a must-see (as travelers surely discover leatherback turtles at the nearby Las Baulas National Marine Park). Newcomers can also enjoy excellent bars, restaurants, and a thriving nightlife scene here.


This northern region sharing a border with Nicaragua is home to several lovely beaches. Here the number of tourists increases a lot in the summer season. The premium beach resorts and gated enclaves of Tamarindo Beach, Playas del Coco, and the Gulf of Papagayo are some of the popular locations among foreigners. These expat towns are a little expensive, but they are beautiful locations to live in, particularly if you want to enjoy golf and the beach.


Atenas is one of the best areas in the country to find true Costa Rican food, coffee, and culture. It is placed around midway between San Jose and the beaches of the Pacific Coast. Expat retirees searching for laid-back country living with easy access to the airport and big city facilities flock to Atenas.


Expats and vacationers alike flock to this Costa Rican seaside resort. On Dominical’s beaches, newcomers can surf, snorkel, dive, sunbathe, horseback ride, and relax all year. According to Go Visit Costa Rica, the hamlet is also close to Manuel Antonio National Park, which is “Costa Rica’s most visited park.”


The hilly town of Heredia, located just north of San Jose is home to the popular National University. Therefore, lots of students and young people live here. Expats flock to the city because of its numerous outdoor attractions, gorgeous architecture, and lush vegetation. It is easily accessible for getting San Jose’s services.

What should you do if you want to relocate to Costa Rica?

Choosing to relocate to Costa Rica is unquestionably a life-changing decision. With the correct knowledge and planning, you can enjoy a new beginning of life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

If you have decided to move to Costa Rica, but don’t know where to begin, take a trip. Spend time in the local towns and get a sense of Costa Rica’s lifestyle. It will help you decide if it’s good to live here or not.

Who can assist you?

The overseas relocations can be stressful; fortunately, we have a network of trustworthy international movers that make the whole process a breeze.

We check all packers and movers for important credentials, skills, and insurance. The Federal Maritime Commission of the United States has additionally licensed and bonded our movers.

Additionally, in order to remain an Accredited International Mover, all moving firms based outside of the United States must be in good standing with FIDI.

Of course, we recommend checking the background of movers with the American Moving and Storage Association, the Household Goods Forwarder Association, and the Better Business Bureau before picking an international moving firm.


Costa Rica is an exceptional choice for a permanent residence, particularly for skilled workers and professionals who can earn at least as much as the locals can. It is a calm and beautiful country where you may relax and enjoy every moment of your life.

Wishing you the best of luck for a smooth relocation!

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